Non-EU Made in Italy arrives in Switzerland and the USA
Although 7 out of 10 pairs of shoes firmly remain in the EU, the main destinations for regional exports outside of the Union are Switzerland and the USA, while the role of Russia and the former Soviet bloc falls back to a position of lesser importance.
Thanks to the extremely positive results of the 2017 fourth quarter, up +6.6% in value, Italian exports ended 2017 with a growth trend of +3.4% for 9.5 billion euros on a national level, a figure that includes both finished footwear and components. These are the results of the analysis done by the Confindustria Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici, which jointly releases the 2017 regional export performances.
The Veneto region is classified as the first region for exports with a 27.4% share of all Italian exports, followed by Tuscany (21.4%), Lombardy (15.3%) and Marches (15.1%), which loses one position in the classification from 2016. Together, these four regions represent around 80% of the national turnover generated abroad. The growth trend is more or less in general: Veneto, Tuscany, Lombardy, and Emilia Romagna present an increase of a little over +4%, Puglia grows by +2.7%, and only the Marches and Campania follow a downtrend (respectively -1.5% and -4.1%).
Among the regional export destinations, the EU takes the lead, and in fact, five out of the seven main footwear manufacturing regions rank one of the EU markets as their top sales destination: France for the Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Puglia, and Campania regions; and Germany for Marches. Instead, the first destination for Tuscany is Switzerland, as a logistics-distribution hub for its leading designer labels, while Lombardy’s leading end market is the USA. Russia does not even qualify for the classification, even if up until 2014, it was considered the first end market for the Marches and Emilia Romagna regions.
With respect to the leadership of each region in various markets, Veneto is once again confirmed in 2017 as the first region for exports to the EU, Tuscany is number one in exporting to the USA, while the Marches is in the lead in the CIS area and Lombardy is first with respect to the Middle East and Far East.
The analysis of regional exports in the last quarter of 2017 is a mixed batch of results, with some trends emerging: while the Veneto’s main destinations are in the nearby European markets of France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland; Lombardy sets its sights far from home in the USA, Far East, and the United Arab Emirates. Instead, Campania’s first five markets include three Central American countries: the USA, Mexico, and Canada. Finally, all the regions count Switzerland and the USA among their first five destinations; while Switzerland is also the best performing market for Tuscany, Marches, Puglia, and Campania.
Among the EU markets, France and Germany (the best performers for Veneto and Emilia Romagna) are among the first destinations, followed by the United Kingdom and Spain, and two Eastern countries, Poland and the Czech Republic, even if they are only in supporting positions and only in Veneto and Puglia.
Outside the EU, in the Far East, the countries with the leading performance are South Korea and Hong Kong, with quickly rising numbers, especially with regards to Lombardy’s exports.
Important, but absent from the classification, are the markets of the former Soviet bloc, which before the devastating 2014 crisis, were instead characterised by a strong upward trend. The recovery of exports in the area in 2017 and the constant interest expressed for Italian products, confirmed also by the greater number of visitors at the last edition of MICAM, with a +22% rise in Russian visitors – as the leading foreign country at the fair – followed by Ukraine, up +7%, confirm these markets as important references for Made in Italy.